Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Dealing with homicidal pews

I'm taking part in our Diocese's "Clergy Summer Gathering" at Ushaw College. The theme is "Time Matters" - and we've had some excellent sessions on the theme of time: David Wilkinson related our ways of thinking about time to science fiction, astrophysics and quantum theory, Bishop Tom has been exploring the meaning of the Sabbath, and Paul Witts has explored the concept of Nostalgia.

This last subject provoked lots of interest. Best exchange so far was an example of congregational nostalgia, implicit in an objection raised to the removal of a church pew: "Someone died in that pew." To which the parish priest had replied, "Then it had better go before it kills someone else." At which another priest leapt to her feet and shouted, "Let me have it - I can put it to good use in my parish...."

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